1. The pander de jour

    I wonder what higher office Cindy is running for? Have you and Person Ellenberg had a falling out? Why didn’t you cut Person Ellenberg in on this pander?

  2. “Thousands of children in Santa Clara County from low-income families or those living in rural areas were unable to properly get their schooling, and “many of them are likely to never catch up,” Chavez said in her board referral.”

    So true. Same comment is valid for the middle class. You’re unwittingly arguing for your removal from office Cindy for abandoning your position in March of 2020 last year by allowing Ms. Cody to heartlessly and fruitlessly destroy millions of businesses, lives and allowing her to inflict despair and depression upon a generation of kids who haven’t had any interaction with any of their friends for over a year. Talk to some kids and you’ll see just how devastating the damage to our society is that you enabled. Now, under your leadership, we’re asking the kids to wear leaky masks for 8 hours straight in school and to stay within a plexiglass cage all day further isolated from friends even when they’re in the same room. How sad for Santa Clara County that you’re a supervisor. Why are you coming back now after a year in hiding?

  3. If Cindy Chavez and other County Supervisors are looking for inspiration and ideas from other counties near and far, why not start with San Francisco. Rather than deal with houselessness through a bond repaid through relatively regressive property taxes that also enriches wealthy lenders and Wall Street banks (e.g. Measure A of 2016 https://www.sccgov.org/sites/scc/Pages/Affordable-Housing-Bond-Measure-A.aspx), San Franciscans passed Proposition C (2018), a 0.5% tax on business revenues above $50 million that has yielded and will continue to yield at least $300 million per year into the future and is also dedicated to expanding affordable housing (https://missionlocal.org/2020/06/court-of-appeal-sides-with-san-francisco-on-prop-c-city-on-cusp-of-unlocking-hundreds-of-millions-of-dollars-for-homeless-services/; https://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/news/2020/07/01/court-upholds-s-f-s-prop-c-homelessness-funds.html; https://missionlocal.org/2020/09/prop-c-supreme-court/). Tax the well-off to assist the less well-off, a sensible policy that requires political courage and commitment.

    Then there is the May 2020 ballot initiative passed in three metro-Portland, Oregon counties that approved a 1% tax on income above $125,000 per year for individuals and over $200,000 for couples plus a 1% tax on profits from businesses with gross receipts greater than $5 million per year. The new taxes are expected to bring in approximately $250 million per year in additional revenues (even though an estimated 90% of residents and 94% of businesses are exempt from the new tax). The funds will be used to address houselessness (see https://www.seattlepi.com/ local/politics/article/Portland-area-voters-approve-taxing-the-rich-to-15283824.php). Again, taxing the relatively well-off to ameliorate conditions for the those less well-off in a fiscally responsible manner.

    Finally, consider the City of Seattle that in July 2020 passed a tax on businesses with more than $7 million in annual payroll outlays, a tax expected to yield some $240 million annually to address houselessness (https://www.cnbc.com/2020/07/07/seattle-passes-payroll-tax-targeting-amazon-and-other-big-businesses.html). Tax the primary beneficiaries of the existing arrangements to help the principal victims of that order.

    The character and scale of the above initiatives at least approach those of the issues they are designed to address. They are also fiscally prudent and socially just. If Ms. Chavez and her colleagues were serious about the “digital divide” (or any other issue), they wouldn’t resort to applying for grants from the state or federal government. They would directly impose taxes on the fantastically wealthy households and corporations domiciled in the county to secure the resources needed to address the many inequities that plague the disproportionately Hispanic/Latino and Asian working class and working poor. With such concentrations of income and wealth, very small marginal taxes yield substantial sums (https://patch.com/california/campbell/santa-clara-richest-county-california; https://patch.com/california/sanmateo/tech-titans-top-2020-forbes-billionaire-list; https://sanjosespotlight.com/silicon-valley-leaders-ask-for-help-solving-the-poverty-pandemic/#comment-30579).

    That County Supervisors don’t act in bold and serious ways is a testament to the relative degree of political capture or co-optation exercised by wealthy elites here versus that exercised by elites in other predominantly Democratic jurisdictions.

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